Tuesday, August 07, 2007

i like the church

every Tuesday night, a church in Utica hosts a class on healing prayer. At one point, I was going every week, but life got busy and I stopped making time for it. Tonight I went back for the first time in over a month.

When I walked in the door, I was immediately greeted by a smell that always reminds me of my grandparent's attic. A smell of musty old wood that hints at something solid and promises wisdom for anyone who has ears to hear.

Most of the people who attend the class have been followers of Jesus longer than I've been alive, and they do indeed speak words of wisdom. Words of wisdom, knowledge, truth, prophecy and faith. They are funny, joyful, steady, honest, and powerful teachers of God's truth. They are also odd. Not individually per se, but collectively. Though there are usually 40-50 people in attendance each week, only a handful are from that church. Most come from other churches, and so I find myself rubbing shoulders with Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Pentacostals, Methodists, and even some non-denoms like myself. It's one of the few places I can go and see God's Church as it was intended. No religious or denominational divisions. No arguments over doctrine or theology. Just God's Church being God's Church. Knowing and accepting our differences, but also knowing and accepting the truth that we all have Jesus in common and we are all brothers and sisters in Him.

I delight in seeing this microcosm of what God's Church can be. On more than one occasion, God has used this humble gathering to remind me of His vision for His Church. A Church that is truly unified. Not one in which the members simply tolerate one another, but truly love and enjoy each other. The folks who attend this class have manged to make that vision a reality. How do the rest of us do it?


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